This post is coming a few days late of Nov 1st, but you can catch up!!!
For the month of November I have seen a lot of people posting on social media things that they are thankful for, but for us I think reflecting privately may be more meaningful. (Ha! and here I am blogging about it, lol) This November we constructed a Thankful Tree in our playroom with the intention to think of one thing that we are thankful for everyday, write it on a leaf and place it on our tree. Aedan is 3 1/2 and it seems likes he is starting to grasp the meaning of being thankful and counting his blessings. He also finds it amusing to guess the things that his 1yo sister, Audrey, is thankful for too.
For the tree, I went to Target (and spend way more money on things that I ‘needed’ and had no previous intention on buying – like cowboy boots for my 1yo; darn you Target!) ….. AND bought brown wrapping paper in the gift wrap aisle ($2.99) I also bought a pack of foam leaves at the beginning of Sept and am reusing for this project. The pack was 24 leaves for $4.99 not sure if you can still find these as it seems that fall has been replaced with Christmas already; if not, you can always find a leaf template online and trace and cut your own out of construction paper. I also ordered a few Thanksgiving/Thankful themed books from Scholastic (I have my own teacher account) to display on the shelf by the tree.
To make the tree I ripped the paper in 1-3ft sections and twisted them together. I used blue painters tape to attach the trunk and branches to the wall for attempt #1 which failed horribly (the whole tree was on the floor of the playroom) after a few hours. Attempt #2 seems to be more successful so far; I used good ol’ packaging tape. <—-I’m not worried about the tape damaging paint on the walls since we will be repainting the playroom this spring so use at your own discretion. I also made a title for our tree, “I’m Thankful For…” out of construction paper.
While we were constructing the tree (Aedan was very helpful handing me pieces of tape and helping me twist the wrapping paper.) we talked about what it means to be thankful and our blessings (as individuals and as a family). After the tree was done we read the books and Aedan came up with his first ‘Thankful Leave’ ….. DINOSAURS. LOL So far, on day 5, he is thankful for Dinosaurs, Dragons, Preschool and his teachers, leaves in the fall, and Whistling Well Farm(where we pick apples and pumpkins every year).
The books I have on the shelf are “Thanks for Thanksgiving,” by Julie Markes, “Just So Thankful,” by Mercer Mayer, and “Give Thanks for Each Day,” by Steve Metzger. More are on the way!
We are working on being thankful everyday/all year round, but it’s such an important and valuable lesson that I think we will get a lot out of our Thankful Tree by taking a few minutes everyday to stop and discuss what we are thankful for and how blessed we are.